Elton John condemns DaBaby for fuelling “stigma” around HIV

"Homophobic and HIV mistruths have no place in our society"

Elton John has responded to comments made by DaBaby during his set at Rolling Loud Miami over the weekend.

The North Carolina rapper (real name Jonathan Kirk) drew criticism for controversial comments he made surrounding homosexuality and HIV/AIDS onstage at the festival on Sunday (July 25).

“If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two or three weeks, put your cellphone light up.,” he could be heard saying in footage from his set.

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He added: “Ladies, if your pussy smell like water, put your cellphone light up. Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone light up.”

DaBaby also claimed HIV will “make you die in two or three weeks”.

John – who founded the Elton John AIDS Foundation charity in 1992 – took to Instagram earlier today (July 28) to share his thoughts on the rapper’s comments and to offer some facts and figures relating to HIV.

“We’ve been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show,” John wrote. “This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic.”

The singer then shared a few key facts and statistics:

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“HIV has affected over 70 million people globally: men, women, children and the most vulnerable people in our communities.

“In America, a gay black man has a 50% lifetime chance of contracting HIV. Stigma and shame around HIV and homosexuality is a huge driver of this vulnerability. We need to break down the myths and judgements and not fuel these.

“You can live a long and healthy life with HIV. Treatment is so advanced that with one pill a day, HIV can become undetectable in your body so you can’t pass it onto other people.”

John concluded his post by pointing out that “a musician’s job is to bring people together”, therefore there is no place in our society and industry for “homophobic and HIV mistruths”.

“As musicians, we must spread compassion and love for the most marginalised people in our communities,” he added.

Dua Lipa – whose 2020 ‘Levitating’ remix features a verse from DaBaby – has said she is “surprised and horrified” by the rapper’s comments.

“I really don’t recognise this as the person I worked with,” she said in a post to her Instagram Story. “I know my fans know where my heart lies and that I stand 100 per cent with the LGTBQ community. We need to come together to fight the stigma and ignorance around HIV/AIDS.”

DaBaby has since taken to Twitter to offer an apology for his remarks. “What I said was insensitive,” he said, “Even though I have no intentions on offending anybody. So my apologies.”

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